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Thread: I would like to know why police slap you with DC when you OC in public?

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    I would like to know why police slap you with DC when you OC in public?

    I am an OC rookie and I have been slapped with a disorderly conduct ticket for carrying my firearm properly holstered in public. I don't understand why this happened I follow all the laws in my state(DE)when it comes to open carry. Has this happened to anyone before in DE?

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    Why not ask in the OCDO-DE forum?

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    I cannot speak to Delaware's laws. Maybe you should ask in the Delaware forum.

    However, we just had two Alabama OCers arrested for DC for open carry. They were charged with DC because the police have learned that they cannot be charged with a gun crime, yet DC provides them cover for taking the person into custody, seizing guns, and revoking permits.

    One of the prosecutors is talking dropping the charges, but is meeting resistance. Even if the charges are dropped, a lot of damage has been done.

    Stopping the use of DC is one more step in the process of getting LEOs to stop harassing OCers for legal OC. It is part of the process that is OCDOs raison d'etre.

    I hope you fight the ticket.

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    Please fight this.

    I hope you fight this. And I really hope you aren't found not guilty.

    I say that because I hope your case is dropped due to lack of evidence. THAT would be a huge win.
    illegal ≠ immoral legal ≠ moral
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    The following are definitions of disorderly conduct. It's essentially a catch-all statue that the cops can fall back on if nothing else comes to mind.

    0) Any act of molesting, interrupting, hindering, agitating, or arousing from a state of repose or otherwise depriving inhabitants of the peace and quiet to which they are entitled

    1) Unlawful interruption of the peace, quiet, or order of a community, including offenses called disturbing the peace, vagrancy, loitering, unlawful assembly, and riot

    2) Any behavior that tends to disturb the public peace or decorum, scandalize the community, or shock the public sense of morality

    3) An offense which disturbs the peace and tranquility of the community in general

    4) Intentionally causing public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly causing a risk, conduct that disturbs the peace or endangers the morals, health, or safety of a community

    And finally, Delaware's statute:

    A person is guilty of disorderly conduct when:

    (1) The person intentionally causes public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to any other person, or creates a risk thereof by:

    a. Engaging in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior; or

    b. Making an unreasonable noise or an offensively coarse utterance, gesture or display, or addressing abusive language to any person present; or

    c. Disturbing any lawful assembly or meeting of persons without lawful authority; or

    d. Obstructing vehicular or pedestrian traffic; or

    e. Congregating with other persons in a public place and refusing to comply with a lawful order of the police to disperse; or

    f. Creating a hazardous or physically offensive condition which serves no legitimate purpose; or

    g. Congregating with other persons in a public place while wearing masks, hoods or other garments rendering their faces unrecognizable, for the purpose of and in a manner likely to imminently subject any person to the deprivation of any rights, privileges or immunities secured by the Constitution or laws of the United States of America.

    (2) The person engages with at least 1 other person in a course of disorderly conduct as defined in paragraph (1) of this section which is likely to cause substantial harm or serious inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, and refuses or knowingly fails to obey an order to disperse made by a peace officer to the participants.

    Disorderly conduct is an unclassified misdemeanor.

    ---------------------

    It looks to me like open-carry does not apply to paragraphs (a), (c), (d), (e), (f), or (g). If you wanted to stretch it, paragraph (b) could apply in the "display" of the weapon, but part of your defense would be that you didn't do it to "intentionally causes public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to any other person, or creates a risk". BTW, the police are going to have to produce at least one witness that said that you "intentionally caused inconvenience, annoyance or alarm to them", but even then, the charges should be dismissed.

    Further, as long as you were legally carrying and in possession of the firearm, and weren't brandishing, they don't have a legal leg to stand on. I would not only get a lawyer to defend you, and after you're found not guilty, I would also have him file a suit against the city/county/state for unlawful arrest, harassment, and anything else you can think of. The only way we're going to get the LEOs to stop acting like the gestapo is to make it expensive for the city/state to back them up and to let them know we're not just going to lie down and take it.

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    Disorderly conduct is widely used as the "contempt of cop, you didn't do anything illegal but I'm running you anyway" charge.

    It's the charge they use when you haven't broken the law, but they still want to punish you by causing you aggravation, costing you money, and giving you an arrest record.

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    If you do not mind can you elaborate on the situation which brought you to the officers attention?
    I would fight it and would believe you have a strong case as long as you are basically just a MWAG call.
    Let us know what happens.

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    Look up the statute, and see if OC is listed there. It won't be. You'll likely see definitions of what disorderly conduct is, such as being drunk in public, swearing, being poor, er, homeless, being hungry, er uh, begging, and so on.

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    I was out with a couple of friends running errands before me and my wife where set to go to MD...I have open carried before but never in a significant public place such wal-mart,big lots etc. So as I was making my way into wal-mart I felt like I had a sign around my neck that read "I have a gun on me". At first I didn't notice anyone really giving me the"eye" until we were checking out...that's when the paranoia for them set in, I guess. So I try to be as polite and casual as I can while I'm paying at the register. Afterwards, we walk out and the Delaware State Police are already in the parking lot and I knew he was waiting for us because as he seen us come out of the store he stepped out of his cruiser and began walking, hand on his holstered gun...towards us. The first thing the officers ordered us to do was to put our hands on our head and we complied so the other officer disarmed me and asked me do I have a CCW I reply back to him..."In the state of Delaware(except Dover) there is no license required to OC"...he then yells we'll see about that. We complied when they asked us to show ID because they didn't know if we were convicted felons or in my case a person prohibited. Through out this whole ordeal it was just me arguing my point to two cops,while complying with there every order. They then go on to tell me that if I OC then I'll just be asking for trouble and that me OCing will alarm or scare other people etc. Finally when I decided to stop debating my point to these two annoying cops,their supervisor showed up...well IDK if it was but... I would think because when he came to the scene the two officers that were questioning me quickly scurried over to him who was about 10 feet away from us...They huddle up and discuss further action...and after 15 whole minutes they walk over and inform me that they will be issuing me a citation for disorderly conduct...he proceeds to explain while holstering my gun. So upon hearing this and receiving the citation I will never forget,I had the most intense feeling of being defeated...I just felt so upset to be abiding by the law and still make a mistake.
    Last edited by NicheNapoleon; 09-06-2010 at 05:37 AM. Reason: m

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    Quote Originally Posted by NicheNapoleon View Post
    So upon hearing this and receiving the citation I will never forget,I had the most intense feeling of being defeated...I just felt so upset to be abiding by the law and still make a mistake.
    IANAL, but...

    If you were legally carrying, I'm not so sure that the police can use DC to circumvent another law that you were complying with. I'd not only fight the ticket, but I would sue the officers, the police department, and the city for harassment (because that's what a DC charge is when they are pissed off when they figure out that you're not breaking any other law).

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    Regular Member Fallschirmjäger's Avatar
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    As JSimmons posted the Delaware Code Section contains nothing that would apply to your situation.

    What you've been charged with is the equivalent of "Eating a ham sandwich on Sunday to the detriment of the Public". In other words, the officer doesn't think he has a chance in hell of you being convicted and more to the point, he doesn't even care if you are.

    He'll be paid to show up in court (if it's not dismissed before even going to court), he'll sit and read the paper until the case is called, and he'll give testimony. After that, when the case is dismissed and you've been inconvenienced and lost time and wages, he'll cash his paycheck for the time he spent in court and go home to eat dinner.

    The charge is meant to piss you off and intimidate you from conducting yourself in a lawful manner that the officer doesn't approve of. The question is, are you going to let it?


    Normally, don't the police tend to put a stop to whatever behavior is being done to cause the disturbance? Like ... mmm... y'know.. stopping any fighting or tumultuous behavior, or ending the unreasonable noise, or obstructing traffic (to name examples from the Code)?
    Putting your pistol back in the holster is the same thing as taking you to the side to issue a citation for obstructing traffic and then escorting you back into the middle of the road to block it again. Seems they weren't very interested in you ceasing the behavior that "" caused "" the disturbance in the first place.
    Last edited by Fallschirmjäger; 09-06-2010 at 12:04 PM.

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    Well said Falls...well said!

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    NicheNapolean, I hope you are reading these responses, there is some good info here.

    Although I live nearby in PA, I have family in Bear, Delaware. We go there at least once or twice a month, and I am always open carry. Although I've yet to have a problem, admittedly I'm only "out and about" occasionally. Hell, I was just there this past Sunday and ran an errand in the middle of the day. We went to Happy Harry's to pick up a couple items for our young grandson, the stopped at the liquor store at Fox Run.

    Uneventful.

    I am offended by the way you were mistreated. It is a clear example of the kinds of abuse of authority that we battle almost everywhere, and it makes me sick.

    I hope this event will not deter you from exercising your rights, though I understand this is a decision you must make for yourself.

    You might also want to consider joining and posting this over at Delaware Open Carry: http://deloc.org/

    They are a real good group of people over there, and they really know what they are doing.

    Good luck!
    While many claim to support the right to keep and bear arms, precious few support the practice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    As JSimmons posted the Delaware Code Section contains nothing that would apply to your situation.

    What you've been charged with is the equivalent of "Eating a ham sandwich on Sunday to the detriment of the Public". In other words, the officer doesn't think he has a chance in hell of you being convicted and more to the point, he doesn't even care if you are.

    He'll be paid to show up in court (if it's not dismissed before even going to court), he'll sit and read the paper until the case is called, and he'll give testimony. After that, when the case is dismissed and you've been inconvenienced and lost time and wages, he'll cash his paycheck for the time he spent in court and go home to eat dinner.

    The charge is meant to piss you off and intimidate you from conducting yourself in a lawful manner that the officer doesn't approve of. The question is, are you going to let it?


    Normally, don't the police tend to put a stop to whatever behavior is being done to cause the disturbance? Like ... mmm... y'know.. stopping any fighting or tumultuous behavior, or ending the unreasonable noise, or obstructing traffic (to name examples from the Code)?
    Putting your pistol back in the holster is the same thing as taking you to the side to issue a citation for obstructing traffic and then escorting you back into the middle of the road to block it again. Seems they weren't very interested in you ceasing the behavior that "" caused "" the disturbance in the first place.
    I think Falls has given you your defense argument. You can beat this, just use Falls logic. Good luck.

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    Get a Lawyer!!

    Quote Originally Posted by NicheNapoleon View Post
    I was out with a couple of friends running errands before me and my wife where set to go to MD...I have open carried before but never in a significant public place such wal-mart,big lots etc. So as I was making my way into wal-mart I felt like I had a sign around my neck that read "I have a gun on me". At first I didn't notice anyone really giving me the"eye" until we were checking out...that's when the paranoia for them set in, I guess. So I try to be as polite and casual as I can while I'm paying at the register. Afterwards, we walk out and the Delaware State Police are already in the parking lot and I knew he was waiting for us because as he seen us come out of the store he stepped out of his cruiser and began walking, hand on his holstered gun...towards us. The first thing the officers ordered us to do was to put our hands on our head and we complied so the other officer disarmed me and asked me do I have a CCW I reply back to him..."In the state of Delaware(except Dover) there is no license required to OC"...he then yells we'll see about that. We complied when they asked us to show ID because they didn't know if we were convicted felons or in my case a person prohibited. Through out this whole ordeal it was just me arguing my point to two cops,while complying with there every order. They then go on to tell me that if I OC then I'll just be asking for trouble and that me OCing will alarm or scare other people etc. Finally when I decided to stop debating my point to these two annoying cops,their supervisor showed up...well IDK if it was but... I would think because when he came to the scene the two officers that were questioning me quickly scurried over to him who was about 10 feet away from us...They huddle up and discuss further action...and after 15 whole minutes they walk over and inform me that they will be issuing me a citation for disorderly conduct...he proceeds to explain while holstering my gun. So upon hearing this and receiving the citation I will never forget,I had the most intense feeling of being defeated...I just felt so upset to be abiding by the law and still make a mistake.
    They had no justification to seize your person or your weapon.
    They are charging you with DC in hopes it will insulate them from liability if you don't fight the charge. IANAL but you are looking at a payday here.
    illegal ≠ immoral legal ≠ moral
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    Not only do you fight the charge. Go after the prosecuting attorney and the arresting officer(s) with CRIMINAL charges and a civil suit.
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

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    [QUOTE=Fallschirmjäger;1348258]As JSimmons posted the Delaware Code Section contains nothing that would apply to your situation.

    What you've been charged with is the equivalent of "Eating a ham sandwich on Sunday to the detriment of the Public". In other words, the officer doesn't think he has a chance in hell of you being convicted and more to the point, he doesn't even care if you are.

    He'll be paid to show up in court (if it's not dismissed before even going to court), he'll sit and read the paper until the case is called, and he'll give testimony. After that, when the case is dismissed and you've been inconvenienced and lost time and wages, he'll cash his paycheck for the time he spent in court and go home to eat dinner.

    The charge is meant to piss you off and intimidate you from conducting yourself in a lawful manner that the officer doesn't approve of. The question is, are you going to let it?


    Normally, don't the police tend to put a stop to whatever behavior is being done to cause the disturbance? Like ... mmm... y'know.. stopping any fighting or tumultuous behavior, or ending the unreasonable noise, or obstructing traffic (to name examples from the Code)?
    Putting your pistol back in the holster is the same thing as taking you to the side to issue a citation for obstructing traffic and then escorting you back into the middle of the road to block it again. Seems they weren't very interested in you ceasing the behavior that "" caused "" the disturbance in the first place.[/QUOT

    All the above is true and that is why you need to sue everyone you can.

    What does the Constitution od Deleware say about 'bearing arms for defense"???

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    [QUOTE=langenc;1350089]
    Quote Originally Posted by Fallschirmjäger View Post
    As JSimmons posted the Delaware Code Section contains nothing that would apply to your situation.

    What you've been charged with is the equivalent of "Eating a ham sandwich on Sunday to the detriment of the Public". In other words, the officer doesn't think he has a chance in hell of you being convicted and more to the point, he doesn't even care if you are.

    He'll be paid to show up in court (if it's not dismissed before even going to court), he'll sit and read the paper until the case is called, and he'll give testimony. After that, when the case is dismissed and you've been inconvenienced and lost time and wages, he'll cash his paycheck for the time he spent in court and go home to eat dinner.

    The charge is meant to piss you off and intimidate you from conducting yourself in a lawful manner that the officer doesn't approve of. The question is, are you going to let it?


    Normally, don't the police tend to put a stop to whatever behavior is being done to cause the disturbance? Like ... mmm... y'know.. stopping any fighting or tumultuous behavior, or ending the unreasonable noise, or obstructing traffic (to name examples from the Code)?
    Putting your pistol back in the holster is the same thing as taking you to the side to issue a citation for obstructing traffic and then escorting you back into the middle of the road to block it again. Seems they weren't very interested in you ceasing the behavior that "" caused "" the disturbance in the first place.[/QUOT

    All the above is true and that is why you need to sue everyone you can.

    What does the Constitution od Deleware say about 'bearing arms for defense"???
    I have been going through the painstaking process of finding an attorney who will pick my case up,but so far no luck. It's as if the lawyers want nothing to do with my case but hopefully I find some luck. The Delaware Constitution says "A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use." Article I, § 20 (enacted 1987).

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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCurlyWolf View Post
    Not only do you fight the charge. Go after the prosecuting attorney and the arresting officer(s) with CRIMINAL charges and a civil suit.
    I am currently in the process of finding an attorney who wants to take my case. I have had no luck at all,I hope to be in a position to defend myself against this unconstitutional act that has happened.

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    Quote Originally Posted by simmonsjoe View Post
    They had no justification to seize your person or your weapon.
    They are charging you with DC in hopes it will insulate them from liability if you don't fight the charge. IANAL but you are looking at a payday here.
    I agree with you, they shouldn't have disarmed me nor should they have seized my firearm. But they did and that is what makes this an unconstitutional act. I would like to boldly take the right action but I just don't know what to expect.

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    This is clearly a violation of your Civil Rights. I don't have them handy, but there are numerous court cases to back you up. Civil Rights cases are investigated by the FBI. Call your local FBI office and file a complaint against the officers and their department.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jsimmons View Post
    IANAL, but...

    If you were legally carrying, I'm not so sure that the police can use DC to circumvent another law that you were complying with. I'd not only fight the ticket, but I would sue the officers, the police department, and the city for harassment (because that's what a DC charge is when they are pissed off when they figure out that you're not breaking any other law).
    Also go to the local DA and file criminal charges of filing a false report against the officer who signed the citation and his immediate superior who was present and either gave him permission or ordered him to issue the citation.
    Last edited by OldCurlyWolf; 10-06-2010 at 01:11 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldCurlyWolf View Post
    Also go to the local DA and file criminal charges of filing a false report against the officer who signed the citation and his immediate superior who was present and either gave him permission or ordered him to issue the citation.
    Considering it is the DA in Birmingham is the one who had pressed the DC charges against the July 4th carriers, he is a poor place to go for relief.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eye95 View Post
    Considering it is the DA in Birmingham is the one who had pressed the DC charges against the July 4th carriers, he is a poor place to go for relief.

    Then go to the AG and start there. If that doesn't work go to the US attorney's office. Of course with Holder in the US AG's office that is probably an exercise in futility. Of course at one time you could hire an attorney and prosecute them yourself. Wouldn't that be a kick? Expensive though.
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do those things to other people and I require the same of them.

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    Over the years, our AGs have released several opinions stating unequivocally that OC is lawful in Alabama and that localities may not make it illegal. ALOC is seeking a statement from the AG that a DC charge may not be made based solely on OC.

    Unfortunately, we have a lame-duck AG, so we are contacting the AG candidates for their stances on such use of DC charges.

    In the specific case of the July 4th Carriers, charges against one have been dropped. The DA is proceeding against the other. The case will be allowed to run its course. At that time, the July 4th Carriers will decide how to proceed.

    Of course, they are not saying exactly what they will do, but I suspect that a civil lawsuit is in the works. Hopefully, such a civil suit would result in significant enough monetary damages as to make other PDs and DAs think twice before the do what we hope the court will specifically say that they should not: charging folks with DC for the simple (and lawful) act of OC.

    The issue is actively being worked in Alabama.

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